Football News

Why England ’66 hero Geoff Hurst thinks Callum Hudson-Odoi should leave Chelsea

By Ben Green

Published: 15:10, 24 March 2019

England legend Geoff Hurst believes Callum Hudson-Odoi would have a greater chance of becoming a regular at international level if he left Chelsea for Bayern Munich.

The fledgling forward came on in the 70th minute to make his senior England debut in 5-0 win over the Czech Republic at Wembley on Friday.

Could Hudson-Odoi leave Chelsea? Five key things to know…

  1. Hudson-Odoi was the subject of fervent interest from Bayern Munich in January.
  2. The German club made a number of attempts to prise him away from Stamford Bridge.
  3. A bid in the region of £35m was rejected by Chelsea, who remain keen to retain his services.
  4. Hudson-Odoi’s current deal expires at the end of next season and a new contract is yet to be agreed.
  5. As such, Bayern may revisit their interest this summer, and Hurst believes it should be an “easy decision” for Hudson-Odoi to join the club.

The 18-year-old’s 20-minute cameo came after Gareth Southgate drafted him into the international fold after a number of key players pulled out through injury.

Despite not starting a single Premier League game for Chelsea this season, Southgate had no misgivings handing the teenager his first Three Lions cap.

This will only enhance Hudson-Odoi’s growing reputation, and World Cup winner Hurst believes the Wandsworth- born starlet should now look to follow in the footsteps of contemporary Jadon Sancho and leave the comforts of London for the Bundesliga.

Hurst told Grosvenor Sport: “In terms of Hudson-Odoi being linked with Bayern Munich, it makes sense and I’d look at it and think it’s an easy decision for him to make.

“If he’s playing for Bayern Munich and does well there, I think he’ll give himself a better chance of becoming a regular for England than if he stays with Chelsea.

“Chelsea aren’t developing English players, given the amount they have got and the number who leave on loan and don’t get opportunities.

“It would be a lesson learnt again for rich English clubs like Chelsea if a player like Callum rejected their contract offer and moved elsewhere.

“But first and foremost, I really hope he does well for England.”

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Southgate has “faith in younger players” – Hurst

Hudson-Odoi’s inclusion in England’s latest Euro 2020 qualifiers squad came as no shock to Hurst, who has praised Southgate for his faith in younger players.

Hurst cited his own experience at international level as reason to be buoyed by Southgate’s approach, saying it was not until he became a regular for West Ham that he started being selected for England.

The 77-year-old is encouraged by the philosophy of Southgate for his trust in younger players to carry England forward.

Hurst added: “I’m not surprised to see Callum Hudson-Odoi in the England squad because it’s consistent with what Gareth Southgate has done in his time as England manager – put faith in younger players.

“He isn’t afraid to bring in young English players who haven’t got a great deal of experience playing regularly for their clubs in the first team, and Gareth has been pushed into that because of the nature of the Premier League.

“Too many English clubs are reluctant to play young players in the league on a regular basis. Chelsea are farming out lots of young talent and when teams do that it presents a problem for Gareth Southgate.

“I wasn’t selected for England until I was proving it week in week out with West Ham, but I thought I should have been given an opportunity earlier, so it’s nice to see guys like Hudson-Odoi get the chance to prove it at a young age.”